I regret to say that I have published, on these pages, several photos of the Shannon, Parteen Villa Weir, Ardnacrusha hydroelectric power station and its headrace and tailrace canals.
The storage basin between the road bridge over the River Shannon at Killaloe and the weir and canal intake at Parteen, including the right and left embankments constructed to form the said storage basin, together with the land outside and along the said right embankment delimited and separated from the adjoining land by post and wire fencing and also the land outside and, along the said left embankment delimited by the left bank of the Kilmastulla River Diversion.
The weir and canal intake, the embankments constructed to form abutments to the said intakes, the syphon under the said canal intake, and adjoining lands inside and bounded by post and wire fencing.
The head race between the canal intake and the power station including the right and left embankments constructed to form the said head race, together with the land outside and along the said embankments delimited and separated from the adjoining land by post and wire fencing, and also the road bridges over and the syphons and culverts under the said race.
The power station, the intake to the said power station, the locks and all adjoining buildings and land within the area around the said power station, all of which are delimited and separated from the adjoining land by post and wire fencing.
The tail race from the power station to the River Shannon, the branch railway running along the said tail race, and the land on either side of the said tail race, all of which are delimited and separated from the adjoining land by post and wire fencing.
You see the thing is, Your Honour, Sir, I didn’t know. I didn’t realise that, under Statutory Instrument 73 of 1935 Shannon Electricity Works (Declaration of Prohibited Place) Order 1935, the places as described are prohibited places under paragraph (d) of Section 3 of the Official Secrets Act 1911, as amended by the Official Secrets Act 1920, and as adapted by or under the Adaptation of Enactments Act 1922 (No 2 of 1922). That’s because
information with respect thereto, or the destruction or obstruction thereof, or interference therewith, would be useful to an enemy.
Apparently, under those acts, giving anyone information about a prohibited place is a felony, punishable by imprisonment for up to fourteen years.
Wikipedia says that, in Ireland, those acts were repealed by the Official Secrets Act 1963, but was the statutory instrument repealed? I don’t know, but I’ve written to the Department of Justice to ask.
In the meantime, please don’t look at the photos, especially if you’re a Foreign Agent: a term that, under the 1963 act,
includes any person who is or has been or is reasonably suspected of being or having been employed by a foreign power either directly or indirectly for the purpose of committing an act (whether within or outside the State) prejudicial to the safety or preservation of the State, or who has or is reasonably suspected of having (whether within or outside the State) committed or attempted to commit any such act.
I wonder whether that includes the European Central Bank.